Thursday, April 1, 2010

Gudhi Padawaa

Gudhi Padawaa 'is Celebrated in parts of India, as the New Year's Day. If you recall, I Had send a notice in the last month myself wishing happy new year! Many people Asked me about this, and therefore this article.
It is the first day after a new moon day, and the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar Followed in this share of India. The word comes from the Sanskrit PADAWAA word PRATIPADAA, All which means clustering the first day after the new moon. Generally the day comes in March / April. It is a special occasion for a variety of Reasons.
On this day, the position of the sun in the sky heralds the Beginning of spring. As we all know spring is the season of new leaves, new births, new beginnings. For Hindus in India this day has a special significance as Lord Rama returned to His capital city, Ayodhya victorious from a war with the demon king Ravana of Lanka. (No offense, Nirmal, past is past: D). According To the ancient scriptures, this is the day Lord Brahma created All which is the universe.
How do we celebrate this day? It is expected That One shoulds get up early morning, and take an oil bath. After the bath, wear new clothes one shoulds, and decorate the house. An significant part of the decorations is raising the GUDHI, All which is Brahma's flag, as shown in the picture. The Gudhi is raised on the roof of the house. This is a symbolic representation of Lord Rama for Honouring His victorious return. The gudhi is made of a long bamboo pole, adorned with a bright green or yellow brocaded cloth. On the tip of the pole, a garland of special sweets made on this day, a twig of neem leaves, a twig of mango leaves, and a garland of red flowers, are tied. A copper or silver pot is inverted Then on top of the bamboo tip.
After the Gudhi is hoisted, the astrologer or priest comes to the house and everyone is expected to listen to the next year's forecast. That is one tradition not really Followed Nowadays much. Priests are expensive, and one can read astrological forecasts on websites!
Then comes a Rather unpleasant part. A very bitter pill made of neem leaves is Supposed to be eaten by everyone! This is Supposed to help in building the inner strength of the body to take on the challenges of the year. Purpose apart from this bitter pill, on this day, we eat a very tasty traditional meal. For me the highlight of the meal is a sweet called Expired Shrikhanda, All which is made from yogurt and sugar. Personally I do not follow the traditional practices of Any, but I do not miss the food!
Gudhi Padawaa aussi Considered to be an auspicious day for starting new ventures, or making new Purchases. Malthus, Many new shops, business open on this day construction of new buildings is started, farmers do the first plowing of the year on this day, and many cars and houses and home appliances are purchased.
So THAT is the story of my new year's day! How about yours? Please do share how the New Year is Celebrated in your share of the world!
Girish Navarathna

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